July 14, 2008
SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The University of San Francisco's Tavo Hall and the University of Portland's Stephanie Cox have been selected as the 2008 Mike Gilleran WCC Scholar-Athletes of the Year by a vote of the conference's Institutional Representatives.
The Mike Gilleran WCC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award recognizes the finest accomplishments in athletics, academics, and community service by individuals who have completed their collegiate eligibility. The award was re-named in honor of the conference's first full-time Commissioner, Mike Gilleran, who retired in May after 24 years of service to the WCC.
"All eight schools in the West Coast Conference take pride in developing student-athletes who are leaders on the field, in the locker room, in the classroom and in the community," West Coast Conference Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said. "Tavo and Stephanie have exemplified all of those qualities during their collegiate careers, and are worthy recipients of this award."
Hall is the first USF male athlete to receive the Mike Gilleran WCC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award since Joe DeBortoli in 1990. Cox, a four-time First Team All-WCC selection in women's soccer, is the second Pilot to win the award in the past three years.
MALE SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Tavo Hall - University of San Francisco - Baseball - 3.88 GPA
Hall was instrumental in guiding the Dons to their first-ever NCAA Baseball Tournament appearance. In the final two weeks of the 2006 regular season, Hall returned from a hand injury to hit .333 with three doubles, nine runs scored and three stolen bases. Despite missing parts of three seasons with injuries, Hall ranks seventh on USF's all-time stolen base list with 49. He finished his career at USF with 173 hits, 32 doubles and 76 RBI, and was a two-time COSIDA/ESPN Third-Team All-District VIII selection.
In the classroom, Hall was voted USF's 2007 Class Valedictorian for the College of Letters and Science and won the 2007 Charles Harney Award given to the USF senior with the highest GPA. He was the only student representative on the USF Advisory Board from 2006-08, and also served on the school's Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).
Hall served the community in a number of capacities, volunteering for the Nike Women's Marathon, the Breast Cancer Walk and the Reading/Mentoring Program at the Kipp-Bayview School in San Francisco's Hunter's Point neighborhood.
FEMALE SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Stephanie Cox - University of Portland - Soccer - 3.78 GPA
Cox (formerly Stephanie Lopez), who won numerous athletic awards during her legendary career at the University of Portland, has been a member of the United States National Team since 2004 and will compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She also started for the U.S. at the 2006 World Cup, and was the only collegiate player on the roster.
Cox led Portland to a 76-11 record over four seasons, and led the Pilots to an NCAA Championship and undefeated season in 2005. She was a three-time NSCAA All-American selection, four-time First Team All-West Coast Conference selection and two-time WCC Defensive Player of the Year. Academically, Lopez won the 2007 Lowe's National Senior CLASS Award for women's soccer, and was a two-time WCC All-Academic selection.
The University of Portland standout is no stranger to community service as her family has hosted over 90 foster children over the past 15 years, and she has traveled to the Bahamas and Mexico on missionary trips. Cox led her dorm bible studies in 2004 and team prayers in 2006. She has also served as a volunteer cook at a Ronald McDonald House in the Portland area.